Texas repave complete; Carpenter thinks ‘five-wide’ possible for IndyCar

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Texas Motor Speedway’s repave process is complete and was formally unveiled on Monday at the Dallas/Fort Worth 1.5-mile oval.

The repave process started in January and ran right on schedule, as completions to the banking change in Turns 1 and 2 occurred with a full repave of the racing surface and pit lane.

TMS President Eddie Gossage hosted both NASCAR and IndyCar stakeholders. NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell and past NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Chris Buescher were there from a stock car perspective while INDYCAR President of Competition and Operations Jay Frye and Ed Carpenter Racing owner/driver Ed Carpenter were the from the open-wheel side of affairs.

A ceremonial lap was completed with Chevrolet SS pace cars (which, having had a ride in one before Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg IndyCar opener, are quite nice).

Carpenter, who won at Texas in 2014 for his most recent victory, said the change to Turns 1 and 2 could drastically alter the racing on display there.

“I’m excited to get out there in an Indy car,” said the driver of the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet. “Obviously, the Chevy SS is nice and can get some speed, but it is a lot different car from an Indy car. But from what I could tell, it’s greatly improved, a lot smoother and I think the reconfiguration as drivers and teams we like challenges and it’s something different.

“Having diversity between 1, 2, 3 and 4 is something good for racing obviously and with it wider Indy cars may be able to go five wide through there.”

INDYCAR will have an open test at the track on April 12, just a couple days after the next round of the season, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (April 9, 4 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

The Rainguard Water Sealers 600 runs on Saturday, June 10, also on NBCSN – which resumes NBCSN’s portion of the season through to the end of year in Sonoma on September 17.